1.1.L.40 Levels of tertiary courses
There are 5 levels of tertiary courses: levels M, A, B, C and D. These levels are used to determine allowable time (for Austudy and PES) and satisfactory progress (for YA) for student payment purposes.
The time usually allowed for completing a course is based on the minimum time (1.1.M.140) it normally takes to complete the course, plus an additional period.
For the purposes of Austudy and PES, tertiary courses must be approved, determined to be a tertiary course under SSAct subsections 569H(13) (for Austudy), 1061PC and 1061PI(13) (for PES) and are assigned levels for the purpose of measuring allowable time. Allowable time is measured against the minimum time of the tertiary course currently being studied. Time already spent in study at the same level is then deducted from this limit to determine whether the recipient is still undertaking qualifying study (22.214.171.124).
For YA purposes, tertiary courses must be approved, determined to be a tertiary course under SSAct subsection 541B(5) and are assigned levels for the purposes of the satisfactory progress under the Youth Allowance (Satisfactory Study Progress) Guidelines 2014 (126.96.36.199).
Act reference: SSAct section 569H(8) Levels of tertiary courses, section 1061PI(6) Current full-time students who have previously …
Level M courses
A course for a degree of Master (or equivalent) is a Level M course.
Not all Masters courses are approved for student payment purposes. Masters courses that are specified in the Student Assistance (Education Institutions and Courses) Determination 2019 Schedule 3 are approved courses for YA, Austudy and PES purposes.
Act reference: SSAct section 569H(8A) Level M courses
Level A courses
Level A courses are:
- postgraduate bachelor degree courses, with or without Honours
- graduate or postgraduate diploma courses
- courses of practical legal training at a higher education institution
- courses of advanced education regarded by an accrediting authority as being at PG1 level, and
- graduate certificate courses.
Postgraduate bachelor degrees (sometimes referred to as graduate entry bachelor degrees) are courses that require the student to have already undertaken an undergraduate qualification (bachelor degree) in order to gain entry to the course. These courses are an advanced pathway for entry into a number of professions, including, but not limited to, medicine, law, nursing, teaching and social work.
Many universities list their postgraduate bachelor degrees with undergraduate courses in their course handbooks or classify them as undergraduate study. This does not mean that the courses are not postgraduate bachelor degrees.
When deciding if a course is a postgraduate bachelor degree, the following factors should be considered:
- whether the course requires a student to have previously completed study at the undergraduate (bachelor) degree level
- whether the course normally takes fewer semesters/years of study than the related undergraduate (bachelor) degree in that area
- whether the course code for graduate entry is different to the related undergraduate (bachelor) degree, and
- whether the content of the postgraduate bachelor degree and the related undergraduate (bachelor) degree are different, although the courses may share some subjects.
Act reference: SSAct section 569H(9) Level A courses, section 1061PI(9) Level A courses
Level B courses
Level B courses are:
- bachelor degree courses (other than a postgraduate course) with or without Honours
- the bachelor level component of Masters degree courses with concurrent bachelor and Masters level study
- diploma courses other than
- Masters qualifying courses
- Barristers or Solicitors Admission Board's courses, and
- courses of advanced education regarded by an accrediting authority as being at UG1 or UG2 level.
Bachelor degree courses do not include postgraduate bachelor degrees (also known as graduate entry bachelor degrees). Postgraduate bachelor degrees are generally considered to be Level A courses.
Act reference: SSAct section 569H(10) Level B courses, section 1061PI(10) Level B courses
Level C courses
Level C courses include:
- associate degree courses
- associate diploma courses
- diploma courses at a TAFE where an entry requirement is successful completion of year 12 studies
- courses provided by a VET provider where an entry requirement is successful completion of year 12 studies (this only applies to Austudy and YA), and
- 2-year undergraduate diploma courses.
Act reference: SSAct section 569H(11) Level C courses, section 1061PI(11) Level C courses
Level D courses
Level D courses are:
- TAFE courses at a higher education institution
- TAFE courses, unless the course is classified as Level A, B or C, and
- courses provided by a VET provider, unless the course is classified as Level A, B, C or M (this only applies to Austudy and YA).
Act reference: SSAct section 569H(12) Level D courses, section 1061PI(12) Level D courses